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first place. sharyl attkisson has the latest. >> reporter: tonight, officials confirm to cbs news that 27-year-old mohammad al-madadi of cutter was on his way to visit an al qaeda operative serving time in a colorado prison. that operative is ali al-marri, arrested after 9/11. u.s. officials say the planned visit between the diplomat al-madadi, and the imprisoned al qaeda member was just a are routine case of a diplomat checking on a countryman. the visit never happened because al-madadi sparked a scare on his flight last night. officials say he lit a cigarette in the first-class laboratory. when a flight attendant smelled smoke and asked what he was doing, he says i was just lighting my shoe on fire and went back to his seat, refusing to turn over his lighter. federal air marshals on the flight got involved and the pilot declared an emergency. >> they thought maybe he tried to ignite something.
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>> reporter: that was enough to scramble fighter jets and warrant a briefing of president obama. after a flurry of diplomatic talks it was decided al-madadi would be recalled home. all of this shows the hairtrigger sensitivities just three months after the underaware bombing attempt on christmas. what has some people incredulous is the idea the diplomat al-madadi, would make a joke about terrorism while flying to visit a convicted terrorist. his unceremoniuous return home expected tonight, effectively ending any diplomatic standoff over how to hold him accountable since he has diplomatic immunity in the u.s. >> couric: now turning to the mine disaster in west virginia, president obama today ordered federal mine safety officials to give him a report by next week on what caused that explosion that killed at least 25 miners. but right now, the focus is on the four who may still be alive. 32 rescue workers finally got inside the mine today but they
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were forced to turn back for their own safety. our national correspondent jim axelrod is in mont coal, west virginia. and, jim, how serious is this setback? >> reporter: with slim hope growing only slimmer, katie, and frustration rising, the rescue teams are now preparing to head back into the mine, in sometime in the next few hours and resume their search for the four missing miners. for the family and friends of four missing miners in west virginia, there is little left to do but hold hands and pray. >> we still have four men underground that i know that the god lord savior can reach out and touch them. >> reporter: just before 5:00 this morning, four teams, each with eight rescue workers, entered the mine. four hours later, they had traveled three miles by rail, another mile or so on four-wheel all-terrain vehicles, then walked to within a half mile of their target, a safe room thought to be the most likely place where the missing miners could still be alive. >> if we have any hope of survival and they're in the rescue chamber, they're still
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okay. that's-- i mean, that's the sliver of hope we have. it's a long shot. >> reporter: but then, a setback. officials on the surface detected explosive levels of carbon monoxide, methane and hydrogen. the search crews, just 2,000 feet from their target, were immediately pulled out. >> we couldn't let the rescue teams underground any longer base on the readings. >> reporter: rescue workers began drilling another hole like this one for more ventilation. they'll lower a camera into the mine as well. but rescue teams won't be cleared to return to the mine until this evening at the earliest. >> there's always hope. miracles can happen. so, i mean, you just hold on to that and you wait and see. >> reporter: even if it's another 12 hours. >> even if it's another 12 hours. >> reporter: the rescue rooms are designed for 15 miners to survive for four days, but since there's only four miners here, officials feel if they got to a safe room, there is still enough time. katie. >> couric: jim axelrod in mont coal, west virginia, tonight, jim, thank you.
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meanwhile, in georgia today, tiger woods' comeback. ever since he announced he'd return to pro golf at the masters, people have been wondering what kind of reception he would get and would he be rusty after nearly five months on the sidelines. well, today, we got the answers. from augusta national golf club, here's armen keteyian. ( applause ) ( cheers ). >> reporter: tiger woods has made his way to the first tee thousands of time in his life, but nothing quite like today. in front of a sea of spectators and a worldwide tv audience... >> on the tee, tiger woods. >> reporter: woods stepped up and smashed a 300-yard drive straight downtown fairway. marking his official return to competitive golf in and the next chapter of a still-unfolding drama. >> he'll have to control everything and you like to feel comfortable where you go and what you're going to expect in the day, but he has no idea what to expect. >> reporter: in fact, tiger unscrimented took a bizarre new twist with the release of a nike
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ad yesterday. the 30-second commercial uses the voice of wood's late father earl to ask what much of america wants to know... >> i want to find out what your feelings are, and did you learn anything? >> i think the ad really polarizes people. i think that if you hate tiger, you're going to hate him even more. if you like him and you want him to have a comeback, you think it's kind of great. >> reporter: in the wind and rain at augusta, woods showed no serious rust from his five-month layoff. he quickly birdied the third hole, ending three under par after nine holes. showcasing why he's dom naiptd the pro tour for more than a decade, winning 71 times, including 14 majors help his unequal star power pushing official prize money to $277 million last year, up 300% from when woods first turned pro in 1996. >> in the last 12 years, he's done racialgable things for this game of golf. and everybody benefitted.
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>> reporter: until it all came crashing down, forcing the once tightly-wound woods to talk openly of deceit. >> i lied to a lot of people. >> reporter: and discovery. >> it's not about championships. it's about how you live your life. >> reporter: today, woods took a solid first step in his comeback. he's actually up near the top of the leader board with three days of the masters to go. katie. >> couric: all right, armen keteyian in augusta tonight. armen, thank you. in washington, a federal commission is investigating the financial meltdown that sent the country into a recession, how it happened, and who's responsible? in the hot seat today, two former executives of citigroup, which got a $45 billion taxpayer bailout. senior business correspondent anthony mason tells us they testified they never saw the mortgage meltdown coming but the commission chairman said they should have. >> let me start by saying i'm sorry. >> reporter: charles prince, citigroup's former c.e.o., and robert rubin, the bank's former board chairman, apologize for
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not foreseeing the financial crisis. >> and i deeply regret that. >> reporter: rubin, a former treasury secretary, who earned $15 million a year as a citigroup executive, insisted he played only an advisory role. >> i was not involved, as you correctly say, in the management of the people or the personnel. >> reporter: the panel wasn't buying it. >> you either were pulling the 11ers or asleep at the switch. >> reporter: citigroup suffered $30 billion in mortgage-related losses, but another former executive revealed he started raising red flags back in 2006. >> i specifically warned mr. rugein about the extreme risks in unrecognized financial losses that existed within my business unit. >> reporter: dick bowen sahd he sent this e-mail to rubin and three other executives in november 2007. of the $50 billion in mortgage loans the bank bought and sold that year, bowen warned, between
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60% and 80% were defective, meaning they did not meet the bank's own lending starnldzs. >> i witnessed business risk practices which made a mockery of city credit policy. >> reporter: despite the bank's losses, prince and rubin each left citigroup with tens of millions of dollarss in compensation. >> it doesn't fit the scale test no matter how often you feel really, really sad. >> reporter: citigroup has paid back $20 billion to the government. but taxpayers still own more than a quarter of the bank. katie. >> couric: anthony mason, anthony, thank you. in other news, it is the biggest nuclear arms agreement in a generation. in prague today, presidents obama and me medvedev signed the trees that calls for deep cuts in the nuclear arsenals. chip reid is traveling with the president in prague. and, chip, how important is this new start tritey.
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>> reporter: katie it would cut the nuclear arsenals strategic weapons in the united states and russia down to about 1500 weapons a piece. that's still a lot. that's enough to destroy both nations many times over, but president obama says it's an important step along the road to a nuclear-free world, and he says it's going to take generations to get there, if we ever get there, but if you're going to do it, you've got to start with russia and the united states because between them, they have more than 90% of the world's nuclear weapons. >> couric: and, chip, the senate still has to ratify this treaty. how big a battle is expected? >> reporter: well, there could be some real fireworks, katie, because some republicans believe the president showed weakness in these negotiations, that he made too many concessions, gave away too much, buin the end, even his critics think he'll probably get the votes. >> couric: most experts, meanwhile, chip, believe iran is well on its way to developing nuclear weapons. what is the progress on those negotiations? >> reporter: well, the president made very clear today that he believes that they are very close to a breakthrough at
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the u.n. >> my expectation is that we are going to be able to secure strong, tough sanctions on iran this spring. >> reporter: and now that russia is on board, even china is actively involved in those negotiations in new york. >> couric: and, chip, the next target for the president is loose nukes. >> reporter: that's right, katie. next week, there's going to be a summit in washington. the leaders of about 50 nations are invited by the president. their goal is to try to find ways that he unaccounted for nuclear materials around the world won't fall into the hands of organizations like al qaeda, a very important mission indeed. katie. >> couric: chip reid, traveling with the president in prague tonight. chip, thank you. meanwhile, u.s. and russian officials are at odds over the cue in the former soviet run of kyrgystan, home to a coup u.s. airbase. opposition leaders said today they formed a new government and
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russia quickly recognized it. the future of the u.s. base, which supplies the military in afghanistan, is up in the air. top russian official said today they'll urge the new leaders to shut it down. and coming up next here on the cbs evening news, where america stands at the start of this decade, it stands on a growing pile of debt.
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>> couric: the signing today of the nuclear arms treatedy with russia has focused new attention on america's role as a world leader. it's a position some believe may be at risk because of the country's mounting debt. our chief foarnt affairs correspondent lara logan continues our special series "cbs reports: where america stands." >> we choose to go to the moon because that challenge is one that we're willing to accept. >> reporter: from the surface of the moon to the factory flo floor, america's prosperity and power dominated much of the 20th century. but the world has changed. >> the mystique of american power, i think, is gone. >> reporter: the u.s. is no longer the sole power towering over the post-cold war era.
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>> it's not so much we're declining. other countries are coming up. >> reporter: and the report card shows america's foundation is in peril. most alarming, deficits are projected to average over $900 billion every year through 2020. and the nation's debt is the largest in history, $12 trillion and rising. that's more than $80,000 for every american worker. china is now the largest holder of u.s. debt. it's also the largest exporter, and within the next five to seven years, it's expected to surpass the u.s. as the largest manufacturer in the would. >> our prosperity provides a foundation for our power. >> reporter: the problem for america is that its greatness has always been rooted in its economic dominance. >> we're in a real pickle. >> reporter: james baker was treasury secretary under ronald reagan and secretary of state under george h.w. bush. >> we need to find the political
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will to live within our means and start reducing this tremendous debt that's out there. >> reporter: that debt has forced the u.s. to keep borrowing from foreign countries. >> can the world's greatest power remain the world's greatest power and also be the world's greatest borrower? >> reporter: can it? >> i don't think so. >> reporter: aaron david miller served as an adviser to six secretaries of state and has witnessed the decline in american dimlomattic power. >> we can't morally preach anymore about the virtues of american-style capitalism when we can't fix our own dysfunctional, broken house. >> reporter: and seemingly can't-- >> that's the worst place to be. >> we must rebuild our strength here at home. >> reporter: the solution is to accept many nations now have
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a seat at the table and can influence world outcomes. >> it was easier long ago to say, well you have a couple of big powers. now you have a lot of powers. >> james fallows is a writer who just returned from living in china for three years. >> china has a very, very long way to go before they have the dimensions of the national power that the u.s. does-- maybe never. >> reporter: is american power truly on the decline? >> not really. things are changing. other countries are getting relatively stronger. it doesn't necessarily mean that the u.s. will decline in any way that really matters. >> reporter: fallows believes the changing world order will be the catalyst for an american comeback. >> china's not waiting to revamp its economy. >> reporter: muchals fear of the russian dominance dominated during sputnik. >> reporter: the fact of the u.s. success will eventually end-- it doesn't mean it has to end now, or 10 years from now, or 100 years from now if we do
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the right things. >> reporter: what about that chinese-owned debt? >> if the u.s. dollar plummets in value, we suffer, but so do the chinese, too. >> reporter: their debt is worth nothing then. >> exactly. >> the reason china holds so much u.s. debt is because they know that debt's going to pay off. >> reporter: baker believes america's absolute power is still intact for now. >> when i was treasury secretary, everybody was writing that japan inc. was going to take over the world. america was in permit decline. >> reporter: you think we're in the same situation now, people talking about america's decline? >> no, i don't think it's going to happen, provided-- one big proviso-- that we deal with this debt bomb. >> reporter: and if we don't? >> then it might happen. >> reporter: the u.s. remains the most important single power in the world but in just the time it took for you to watch this report, its nocial debt grew by nearly $18 million. lara logan, cbs news, washington.
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>> couric: in brazil, the government says as many as 200 people were buried alive in mudslides this week in and around rio de janeiro. rescue teams were still searching for survivors today on hillsides littered with debris. 171 people are confirmed dead. the mudslides were triggered by the heaviest rain rio has seen in 40 years. meanwhile, the earth is having a close encounter tonight. nasa says an asteroid is whizzing by, even as we speak.
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no cause for alarm, though. the asteroid won't get any closer than 223,000 miles away. here on earth, a scientist and his nine-year-old son were looking for fossils in a cave in south africa when they discovered the remains of a previously unknown species. it lived nearly two million years ago and has features common to apes and humans. the complete story will air sunday on "60 minutes." and coming up next, a gift that comes with a few strings attached.
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>> couric: one way to teach your children well is tell them to share what they have with others. so we end tonight with the story of an eight-year-old who was given a gift at a very early age and she's been sharing it ever since. kelly cobiella has tonight's "american spirit. >> this day she told me she does elsewhere. >> reporter: brianna kahane soindz like your typical second grader. >> reporter: that is, until you put a violin in her hands. brianna picked up her first violin when she was three years old and she's played nearly every day since. what do you like about playing the violin? >> well, i love it because it's
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kind of like a singing voice to me. and i love playing it because it makes me happy and it makes other people listening to me feel really happy, too. >> reporter: but this isn't a story about another child prodigy. it's a story about a girl with a gift for giving. that's brianna playing for pop star spordin sparks to raise money for miami children's hospital. in the past year, this eight-year-old has performed at nearly a dozen charity events from florida to nevada, helping to raise more than $5 million. >> she has said before that she thinks music comes from the soul and it can make the world a better place, and she really believes that. >> reporter: so when brianna learned the massive earthquake in haiti brought down a music school and crushed ramle joseph, a violinist just like her, she wanted to help. >> because i was so sad that h he-- that he got so hurt, and then his beautiful music school actually collapsed on him. for 18 hours he was stuck in
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there. >> reporter: brianna started writing letters to famous violinists asking for money to rebuild the school and instruments to fill it, and she made the first donation herself. >> this is one of my first violins, and i wanted to donate it to you now. >> oh, thank you. >> reporter: handing over her old violin. >> i want to bring music back to haiti and i want to have mr. joseph's school rebuilt because i think all people in haiti were smiling and they need to smile now, too. >> reporter: a tiny star with big talent and an even bigger heart. kelly cobiella, cbs news, boca raton, florida. >> couric: and that's the cbs evening news. i'm katie couric.
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kate's custody battle. the new interview. this is "entertainment tonight." hours after jon gosselin filed for custody, a brave kate faces our cameras. >> probably not a good day to's that question. >> can she put the custody battle on hold. and nancy kerrigan's brother charged with manslaughter. the latest on what really happened. tiger, i want to find out what your thinking was? >> inside the makings of the new tiger woods' commercial. >> did you learn anything? levi johnston on the record about bristol palin's new

CBS Evening News With Katie Couric
CBS April 8, 2010 7:00pm-7:30pm EDT

CBS News News/Business. Katie Couric. The latest world and national news. New. (CC) (Stereo)

TOPIC FREQUENCY U.s. 15, Couric 12, America 10, Katie 8, China 6, Brianna 4, Russia 4, West Virginia 4, Rubin 3, Prague 3, Haiti 3, Washington 3, Augusta 3, Jim Axelrod 2, Purina 2, Armen Keteyian 2, Obama 2, Fallows 2, Jim 2, Anthony Mason 2
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